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what would you do?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by incognito, Aug 18, 2006.

  1. incognito

    incognito Guest

    What would you do in this situation?

    I was hired at a 25k daily a year and a half ago to be a half writer/half page designer. I prefer writing, and was told when I was hired that I may eventually get to write full time, and that it would at the very least stay half/half. Well, as it has happened, I'm now designing full time, and have been since around the beginning of the year. It was a slow, gradual shift toward full-time designing, where at first it was half/half. Then slowly I'd be getting one-two writing shifts per week. Then zero-one, and by now I haven't written anything since June.

    I've mentioned to the SE, quite possibly the laziest, most self-centered man I've ever met, that I'd like to write more. He said that once fall sports got going, I'd be able to. But the problem is, for me to write more, he has to do more layout (small staff), and he hates doing layout because it forces him to actually work and stay late at the paper, as opposed to merely not working but claiming to do so and being home in time for dinner. Now recently, our tentative schedule for the upcoming month was posted, and I've got exactly one writing shift.

    I don't really want to quit, because lord knows how hard it is to find a job, and my wife has a job that would be very, very difficult to leave until at least next June. But I want to write, and I'm not getting the chance to, and by all accounts its not because I'm bad at it, its simply because me writing more means more layout for the SE, and he's not gonna have that.

    Thoughts? Suggestions? Ideas?
  2. Breakyoself

    Breakyoself Member

    look for another job.
  3. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member


    This is a tough one, but you should have seen it coming. Designers are a lot scarcer than writers (not scarce enough for some, I know) so they tend to get pushed into designing more and more.

    Where you go from here depends on your situation, your boss' situation and what leverage you may have.

    You could sit down with the boss and perhaps threaten to quit or leave the impression that you will leave if he doesn't live up to his bargain .

    If you are sneaky, you could come up with some vague but ominous family reason that you can't work a couple nights a week. Maybe you need to go to counseling or it's a religious conversion, whose to say? But you think you can swing it to be scheduled to write those days. And anyway, that was the original agreement, so it should work out.

    Or you could go over your boss's head if you think that would work.
  4. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    I think Ace gives sound advice. You have to ask for the things you want in life, even the things you already deserve, even, or perhaps especially, when it makes you uncomfortable to do so. Hold them to their agreement.

    Failing that, pull a spork on him in the lunchroom.
  5. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    i know other people who have had this happen to them. there isn't much you can do short of appealing to the boss's reasonable side.

    but a job search takes a long time, so it sounds like you need to have the resumes ready a couple months before your wife's job ends so you can be outta there the day she's done.

    you could also try stringing or seeking out other freelance writing opportunities on top of your full time work as a designer.
  6. spaceman

    spaceman Active Member

    get invited to his house for dinner, and then upper deck his ass.
  7. HandsomeHarley

    HandsomeHarley Well-Known Member

    You brought some issues to the SE and it didn't get resolved. Time to go to the ME or publisher.
  8. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    Time to break out the photos of your SE doing something unsavory to the ME's daughter on the ME's desk. Yep.
  9. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    stay put until thanksgiving and then start looking for a job. by the time you find one it will be after the new year and you and your wife will be reaquainted after she's done with her teaching gig ... you'll have the new place mapped out and even can start networking for her while you're spending a few months solo.

    unless your editor already thinks your se is a douchebag, going to him or her will accomplish little other than heartache. i've had to spend a little time away from my family, and yeah, it sucks, bad, but it's also part of the reason why i don't qualify for food stamps.
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